Humans started using gold before recorded history, so the first person who found it is unknown. James Wilson Marshall is credited with finding the first nugget of gold in California on Jan. 24, 1848 and started what would be called "The Gold Rush of 1849," according to History.com.
Stone-age people, living around 6,000 B.C., probably collected gold from stream beds. The Egyptians were mining gold in 3,100 B.C., and the Greeks were mining gold by 550 B.C. After Marshall made his discovery in the American River near Coloma, CA, an estimated 100,000 people traveled to that region and mined over 750,000 pounds of gold.